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Anthony Griffin says Queensland should be worried by Maloney return

Former NRL coach Anthony Griffin believes New South Wales’ decision to bring back James Maloney to partner Nathan Cleary in the halves is the right one.

It comes as NSW head into the do or die State of Origin two on Sunday in Perth fighting to save the series after losing game one 18-14.

Maloney and Cleary steered the Blues to a two-one series victory last year to give them their first series win since 2014.

After a below-par start this season at club-level with Penrith which saw Cleary almost lose his spot for game one and Maloney dropped, the latter has proven to be a match-winner in recent weeks for the Panthers.

Griffin who coached the pair in his time at Penrith says NSW will be a much better team with both men in the halves.

“The thing I’m worried about is – probably by accident they’ve got their best halves pairing back together with Maloney,” Griffin said.

“That really takes their team to another level.

“With Maloney there steering the ship, they won’t fall off course like they did in game one.

“They’ll be a lot more precise with their last tackle plays and they’ll be a lot more organised.

“I think that selection alone makes them a stronger outfit for game two.”

Griffin has coached 173 First Grade games for Brisbane and Penrith with a 55 percent winning record.

State of Origin two kicks off at 7:50pm AEST at Optus Stadium in Perth.


Click ‘play’ to hear the full interview below.